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  Using Connector Points in Macromedia® FreeHand® or Fontographer®

Macromedia FreeHand and Fontographer are two graphics applications that support connector points (more here on point types in drawing programs). Although connector points are not widely supported they can, nevertheless, be very useful. This short tutorial attempts to provide an example of how to use them to your advantage.

1. The characters for the font "Space Gothic" (available free here) were drawn in Macromedia FreeHand 9. Shown below is the glyph for the capital "Z". It is a single closed path.

2. You may want to reshape a path. By using connector points, the path can be reshaped with a minimum of effort. In this case we can marquee-select the points we want to move.

3. There are two connector points and three corner points selected. If we drag the selected points to reshape the path, the connector point handles stay aligned with the straight line segments to which they are attached.

4. After reshaping the path the curved line segment between the connector points needs no further adjustment. There is a smooth transition between the curved line segment and the adjoining straight line segments.

5. Connector points are identified by their pointed shape when they are selected. To illustrate what happens when corner points are used instead of connector points, we can use the Object Inspector to change a connector point to a corner point (circled below right).


6. Now the selected point is in the shape of a hollow square. This indicates that it is a corner point. Notice that merely by changing a connector point to a corner point the path itself has not changed shape.

7. If you select the same points as in a previous step and move them just like before, the corner point handle does not stay aligned with the straight segment to which it is attached. This handle will require further adjustment to create a smooth curve. Note: If you find yourself in this situation you can simply convert the corner point into a connector point with the Object Inspector similar to a previous step.


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